Kobold Press
Showing articles tagged “monster.” See all articles »

Victory’s Bestiary: Two-Headed Rustmaw Displacer Purple Worm

Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB, KA 16, Folio 136rCountless strange and terrifying creatures lurk in the subterranean world that sprawls beneath the mortal empires. Through lightless tunnels, caves, and dungeons they burrow, most driven only by a primal desire to hunt, to mate, and to nest.

Many of these creatures, however, are warped by the feral magic of the underworld, their already monstrous forms transmogrified into aberrant beasts unlike anything produced by the hand of nature. The two-headed rustmaw displacer purple worm is one such example, a tireless engine of devouring that blends aspects of the purple worm, the displacer beast, and the rust monster. Numerous bands of dungeoneers have been ambushed by these brutes, the encounters forcing delvers to return to the surface unarmed and nearly nude.

Continue reading »

Victory’s Bestiary: Half-Tarrasque Hydraic Medusa Serpent Queen

1870s paintings by Arnold Böcklin, 1878 For centuries, rangers from the Queen’s Wood have traded rumors of a blighted fortress built from hundreds of thousands of petrified sacrifices. It is here that the half-tarrasque hydraic medusa serpent queen is said to dwell, reigning over a court of snake cultists drenched in the blood of displacer beast young.

Believed to be an icon in her own right, the serpent queen is the progeny of the tarrasque and the first hydra, who in turn laid the eggs that would hatch into the first seven medusas. According to legend, her stronghold materializes in the midst of elven kingdoms that let the passage of time erode tradition, though if any elves have survived such a calamity, they have not come forward to tell of it.

Continue reading »

Strifeborn Ravager

Alexander mosaic photographed in Museo Archaeologico Naples (Provided by Magrippa and Piero)A rocky shape bursts from the ground in an eruption of bloody mud. Broken weapons jut from its massive body, and shards of shattered helmets encircle its head.

The strifeborn ravager is an elemental spirit corrupted and driven mad by the death and destruction of large-scale battle. Already impressive in size, truly gigantic specimens could exist if the battle that spawned it were expansive enough.

Continue reading »

Lich-Touched Siege Kraken Monumentbringer

Victor Hugo "Hic clavis, alias porta" (The key is here, the gate elsewhere) 1871 In the center of a great saltwater sea floats an island necropolis: a city of twisting catacombs, looming mausoleums, and sprawling graveyards rivaling in size the capitol city of the empire itself. It is from this nether citadel that the arch-lich lays his schemes, forever plotting to overrun the shores of civilization with his hordes of ravenous dead.

Though the arch-lich commands vast legions with which to launch campaigns, the spearhead of his assaults are, without exception, the lich-touched siege kraken monumentbringers, undead engines of destruction that shamble from the water to lay waste to coastal settlements. The spiderlike creeping advance of these monstrosities is inexorable, their march leaving behind only blighted monoliths ringed with slime-choked ruins and shattered skeletons.

Continue reading »

Hand of Drought and Famine

Cesar Tort provides a picture of the infamous “Wall face” appearance, purportedly paranormal but probably made by human hands, of the famous House of the Faces in Spain.From her obex beneath the rotting corpse of the First Titan, a goddess known as Mother Pestilence rules over an endless dust bowl that once was an azure sea teeming with fish the size of carriages. For centuries, the civilizations along the edge of her wasteland have offered Mother Pestilence tribute–the surplus of their harvest–as a show of humility before the ever-present threat of scarcity, disease, and hunger.

Every few decades, a society decides to buck superstition and turn its back on Mother Pestilence. Instead of humbling themselves and rendering unto her an offering, they choose to gorge on their surplus, flaunting the efficacy of their sprawling cage farms and intricately dug irrigation canals. These societies often do not last, as Mother Pestilence sends her daughters, the hands of drought and famine, to remind them of how precious game, livestock, and water truly are. Within weeks, these impious outposts are reduced to a cluster of abandoned temples, empty bazaars, toppled monuments, and piles of the cannibalized dead.

Continue reading »